(Topic ID: 294535)

The New Retro Warm LED vs Incandescent Lighting. (E.M.'s)

By TwinDavid

55 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 43 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by Sea_Wolf
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    360DA61A-A2B3-4B5B-8067-AE6E557B8512 (resized).jpeg
    1FE3D363-DD19-4975-98A6-1CAFD2760DD2 (resized).jpeg
    Little Joe LED 3.png (resized).jpg
    lithuania flag.gif
    Little Joe LED 1 (resized).png
    16255029490947370635483931934449 (resized).jpg
    5C684BA4-1A32-4DDA-94E1-C66911C85E7E (resized).jpeg
    Little Joe LED (resized).jpg
    D4C6645D-C31F-4CCC-9F7C-E76ABBE805F4 (resized).jpeg
    night led (resized).jpg
    Gold Rush LED (resized).jpg
    Incandescent Lighting (resized).png

    #1 55 days ago

    I recently purchased the new generation Retro warm frosted LED bulbs. I have 6 EM’s set up in my game room.

    I’ve tried LED’s before with poor results. The LED’s were too blue which washed out playfield colors, and were TOO BRIGHT. I have read that the new "Retro" warm bulbs are far better at emulating incandescent bulbs, so I thought I would provide before and after photos.

    Daytime Viewing Incandescent playfield:

    Incandescent Lighting (resized).png

    This is the machine outfitted with incandescent 44 bulbs. Many would rather use the cooler 47’s, but I personally like the brighter bulb.

    Pros: Warm candlelight ambience. The incandescent bulbs are actually part of the artistic tapestry.

    Cons: Hot! When all games are on, the game room heats up. Burnout is common. Backglass and plastics are vulnerable to the heat. Although, in 40 years I haven't experienced any significant damage as result of hot bulbs, although I do use 47's exclusively for the backglass.

    Daytime viewing LED Playfield:

    Gold Rush LED (resized).jpg

    Pros: These warm bulbs are certainly a lot less dominant than other LED bulbs I have tried. They are vey cool. No worries about potential backglass or plastic damage caused by the heat of the old bulbs. Even lighting.

    Cons: "Warm" in an LED reality is less blue than the other LED bulbs, but there is still a dominant blue hue and there is still color washout. . You can see the color influence of the LED through the on-field plastics. I feel the game appears a bit too antiseptic. You can see the LED influence on the ball itself…it’s weird, like the ball is hyper-blinking.

    NIGHTTIME VIEWING:

    night led (resized).jpg

    The warm LED’s are far from warm. In the darkness it becomes obvious how blue and flat the light is compared to Incandescent lighting.

    Its Candlelight vs Flashlight.

    Which do you prefer?

    #2 55 days ago

    I like the idea of led, but the ones ive used do not seem to disburse the light as wide and result in very bright pinpoints of light. I usually try leds in flakey sockets because they are not as sensitive to voltage issues. Behind inserts seems, to me, the ideal usage.

    #3 55 days ago

    Came across a YouTube vid today from a guy (PINBALLPICKERS) who restored a Capt Fantastic Pin and installed warm LEDs from Pinball Life, he said there were about 250 LEDs @ $1.00 per light. Look good to me.

    #4 55 days ago

    Seems like every warm LED has varying amounts of that sickly blue color included in the spectrum. Maybe it's just something about LEDs that you can never completely get rid of, or at least they haven't yet. It's most apparent to me under white inserts or white lamp shields.

    #5 55 days ago

    You get used to Warm led But obviously they are no where near as warm as incandescent.

    I usually have some real 44s thrown in if the bulb is in your field of view.

    #6 55 days ago

    I pick and choose with the warm whites. I used extra bright ones on the entire GI on my Black Hole game (very dark, blue and white artwork) and I think they look wonderful. Tried them behind some 90s translites, it made them look washed out and dull so went back to regular lamps. With EMs I guess I'm more of a stickler for the authentic look and have only used LEDs very sparingly for special circumstances. I also like to stick with 44 and 555 lamps that were originally used in the games, not the dimmer versions.

    #7 55 days ago

    I've often wondered what it would cost to actually manufacture an LED that is a proper 2700 k. I know price goes up as you increase color accuracy. Comet retro warm LEDs are a sickly yellow, not orange, and measure around 4,000k which isn't anywhere near incandescent. I accidentally bought a couple hundred for my games last year only to be very disappointed. If it meant a higher price per bulb to get the color right it would be worth it.

    #8 55 days ago

    I like incandescents for GI. I’ve tried several different retro led bulbs. I haven’t found any that can duplicate the warm glow of incandescents. It’s really too bad. You would think someone could figure it out by now.

    #9 55 days ago
    Quoted from phillyfan64:

    I like incandescents for GI. I’ve tried several different retro led bulbs. I haven’t found any that can duplicate the warm glow of incandescents. It’s really too bad. You would think someone could figure it out by now.

    Yeah for most of my EMs I use real #44 on the GI and I use Comet Sunlight under the inserts and behind the backglass.

    #10 55 days ago

    The white ones are at least improving though. I have a few very old 'white' LEDs (the ones with the solid, foggy envelope with the LED sealed inside it), very weak and so much of that cold blue color they almost look like a weak purple.

    #11 55 days ago
    Quoted from phillyfan64:

    I like incandescents for GI. I’ve tried several different retro led bulbs. I haven’t found any that can duplicate the warm glow of incandescents. It’s really too bad. You would think someone could figure it out by now.

    I corresponded with Gregory Nelson of Comet Pinball concerning the blue hue. Comet is committed to solving this issue:

    "We are looking into making our warm whites even slightly warmer and looking more closely at the entire wavelength spectrum to try to eliminate most of that blue hue. Hopefully we can continue to make progress!" G.N.

    In addition, he mentioned that certain people can pick up on the "High Frequency Flicker" that I was referring to when the ball is in play.

    #12 55 days ago

    Thanks TwinDavid for putting your finger on something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I would love to see a pinball-style LED available that has the qualities of a vintage style household LED bulb. These are a nice replica of warm incandescents in my opinion, with the amber element giving off a nice glow.

    D4C6645D-C31F-4CCC-9F7C-E76ABBE805F4 (resized).jpeg
    #13 55 days ago

    As for the 60hz AC flicker in LEDs in EMs that some people can see and some can't... would it help the GI at least if *NON* non-ghosting LEDs were used there? Since they wouldn't be cutting off totally at 2 to 3 volts, wouldn't that make the flicker 'off' part shorter and less noticeable?

    Also there are the Flux LEDs that have a capacitor in them that keep the LED 'on' a little bit even when they are off but I haven't tried them or know how much they would improve 60hz AC flicker, and they cost a little more.

    #14 55 days ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    As for the 60hz AC flicker in LEDs in EMs that some people can see and some can't... would it help the GI at least if *NON* non-ghosting LEDs were used there? Since they wouldn't be cutting off totally at 2 to 3 volts, wouldn't that make the flicker 'off' part shorter and less noticeable?
    Also there are the Flux LEDs that have a capacitor in them that keep the LED 'on' a little bit even when they are off but I haven't tried them or know how much they would improve 60hz AC flicker, and they cost a little more.

    I'm really sensitive to the LED strobing. The original LEDs used to be half wave so they ran at 30 Hz. They strobed so badly it hurt me to even stand near the game. There must be some level of capacitance in even the normal Comet 1-SMD LEDs these days, because I have used them in GI locations on a number of solid state and EM games with A/C GI and have no issue with 60 Hz stobing.

    #15 55 days ago

    Of the EMs I have with LEDs, I only notice strobing on the Williams for some reason. Gottliebs I don't have any problem. This is using the standard Comet retro 1-smd.

    #16 55 days ago
    Quoted from TwinDavid:

    You can see the LED influence on the ball itself…it’s weird, like the ball is hyper-blinking.

    What was already said was accurate. Most EM games are going to need a lamp with a capacitor built in to prevent this issue. Also, you could TECHNICALLY stick a full bridge rectifier in there to provide DC output to the GI, but I'll be honest...I have no idea if that would need some additional rewiring of the GI circuit or not. =P

    I use UV LEDs in my Gottlieb Crescendo to accentuate the custom blacklight-reactive paints and rubber we used when we repainted the playfield...very little strobing at all. =\

    #17 55 days ago

    I put Comet retro warm LEDs in the GI of my Mata Hari and while I like the lit playfield the color went from a warm dark classic brothel to a sterile red alert space station. My Crescendo went from a soft beatnik coffeehouse to a seedy carnival at night.

    I wonder if the frosted lens would benefit from some color? Like wheat or mustard...

    #18 55 days ago

    I purchased 100 of the same Retro Warm Frosted from Comet to try them out - tried them in a couple games and they came out 10 minutes later. Been sitting on a shelf in the parts room ever since.

    They still have that blue hue, like a doctors office in a scary movie.

    #19 55 days ago
    Quoted from LORDDREK:

    I wonder if the frosted lens would benefit from some color? Like wheat or mustard...

    What's weird is I can have a bunch of warm whites together in a lightboard and yeah they look okay and 'warm', but if I take one out and replace it with a 44, the 44 doesn't look more yellow or orange next to them, it actually looks reddish. But when looking at 44s by themselves they all just look, you know, yellow. As if you'd only have to put just a *little* bit of red tint in the LED lens to get it closer but I'm sure it would take some tinkering. That's the true test of these warm LEDs, put a 44 right next to one.

    If I look at some of my various warm whites, it appears they already do use a tinting of sorts - it's like yellow paint or coating on the surface of the individual LEDs. The warmer it is, the more yellow the coating is. As opposed to say a blue or green one where the particular LED itself is creating the color.

    #20 54 days ago

    The problem with LEDs isn't just the colour, it’s the quality of light. Incandescent lamps emit light across a wide spectrum rendering colours accurately (or at least as we are used to seeing them). Unless you get an LED with a high CRI (which you can get at a cost for lighting in colour sensitive environments) then it has a narrower band of frequencies of light emitted. The result of this is colour distortion - you might find playfield reds appear faded for example. This is the real killer and a key reason why leds don’t look ‘right’ to many people.

    Until someone makes hi CRI leds for pinballs then the problem will persist. And I suspect for cost reasons that will never happen.

    I also believe people have varying sensitivity to this. I really struggle with poor quality lighting. It’s just looks terrible to me but others I’ve discussed it with can’t see the problem. YMMV

    #21 51 days ago
    Quoted from pinzrfun:I purchased 100 of the same Retro Warm Frosted from Comet to try them out - tried them in a couple games and they came out 10 minutes later. Been sitting on a shelf in the parts room ever since.
    They still have that blue hue, like a doctors office in a scary movie.

    I did the exact same thing. Even the colored bulbs are hideous. I have hundreds of useless LED's in inventory. I rule.

    3 weeks later
    #22 24 days ago

    I left with the last post that I had a great inventory of useless LED's, at least from the EM perspective. I decided to experiment. Would like to have feedback. I like the effect and I don't suffer retina damage. Thoughts?

    Little Joe LED (resized).jpg
    #23 24 days ago

    Christmas in hell.

    #24 24 days ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    Christmas in hell.

    That's a riot! Well, I tried the warm whites (Blue)...hideous.

    #25 24 days ago

    I took this picture a few days ago but coincidentally I have warm white LEDs in these games with a couple exceptions as noted. At a distance it’s hard to tell but with the demand in power I can’t get away with incandescent and the number of games on at once in my house. I had a party last fall with the sliding door cracked open and people were a little cold at first. By the end of the night it was open more haha. Solid state games down there too.

    Left two are 1SMD in the backbox the rest are 2SMD warm white all from comet.

    Tropic still has some incandescent on the playfield. Slingshots on Egghead are incandescent as well.

    Buccaneer and Target pool are the only glasses that are original.

    5C684BA4-1A32-4DDA-94E1-C66911C85E7E (resized).jpeg
    #26 24 days ago

    Here's how I see it.
    Aside from everyone's eyes, height and angle of play, and ambient room lighting,
    we have the mountain of bulb choices.
    (Sorry about helping create that)

    The main issue with LEDs is people believing one bulb or two is all that's needed. Sometimes that's true.
    A CSI I did with a $99 kit worked other than 2 bulbs.

    My Tommy or Elvis, I just finished,
    took 5 to 6 different bulbs.

    Other games, I've used up to a dozen.

    Now I don't expect anyone to stock what
    I do, but I can certainly understand how many people could buy one type and have
    Issues.

    Some EMs I had to leave incandescent.
    Sometimes, I had to mix.

    Other games have bulbs that differ from every company.
    Minis from CT, Single concave from PBL, and of course, Comet.

    I keep one tray of misc, and always find use for those extra bulbs.

    16255029490947370635483931934449 (resized).jpg

    #27 24 days ago
    Quoted from TwinDavid:

    I left with the last post that I had a great inventory of useless LED's, at least from the EM perspective. I decided to experiment. Would like to have feedback. I like the effect and I don't suffer retina damage. Thoughts?

    There's a huge thread in here about crazy LED jobs that are just awful. I've never actually seen one in person and I have thought about doing one of my games all colored up with blues and purples and greens too, just to see how horrible it really is but I'm too lazy to try it. And I only have some blue and green leds anyway

    #28 24 days ago

    There seems to be endless threads on this topic but none with a very concise or scientific explanation of any of it. I'll be correcting this soon with a compendium of all the different available LEDs with color and light accurate photos of examples of all of them. Stay tuned. But for now, I rant on....

    Quoted from Geofflove:

    The problem with LEDs isn't just the colour, it’s the quality of light. Incandescent lamps emit light across a wide spectrum rendering colours accurately (or at least as we are used to seeing them). Unless you get an LED with a high CRI (which you can get at a cost for lighting in colour sensitive environments) then it has a narrower band of frequencies of light emitted. The result of this is colour distortion - you might find playfield reds appear faded for example. This is the real killer and a key reason why leds don’t look ‘right’ to many people.
    Until someone makes hi CRI leds for pinballs then the problem will persist. And I suspect for cost reasons that will never happen.
    I also believe people have varying sensitivity to this. I really struggle with poor quality lighting. It’s just looks terrible to me but others I’ve discussed it with can’t see the problem. YMMV

    This is spot on. Thanks for writing this up so I didn't have to.

    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    What's weird is I can have a bunch of warm whites together in a lightboard and yeah they look okay and 'warm', but if I take one out and replace it with a 44, the 44 doesn't look more yellow or orange next to them, it actually looks reddish. But when looking at 44s by themselves they all just look, you know, yellow. As if you'd only have to put just a *little* bit of red tint in the LED lens to get it closer but I'm sure it would take some tinkering. That's the true test of these warm LEDs, put a 44 right next to one.

    A keen observation that's in direct relation to the other blockquoted post above. You have to remember that light exists on a full color spectrum and adjusting temperature is just one part of the equation. The axis you're trying to describe is what's measured as "tint" and is usually measured in degrees of +/- 20° (and beyond but you rarely see the need to correct for more than that). LEDs do a really terrible job rendering anything beyond the colors they're programmed to emit and a filament has variation in temperature throughout it which is what contributes to some of that "glow" everybody is talking about.

    Quoted from SilverLiningMan:

    Thanks TwinDavid for putting your finger on something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I would love to see a pinball-style LED available that has the qualities of a vintage style household LED bulb. These are a nice replica of warm incandescents in my opinion, with the amber element giving off a nice glow.

    Even those these emulate the "look" of a filament, it doesn't actually emulate the way that light travels off of the "LED filament". Those LEDs are definitely cool because they can give some variation in the direction and quality of the light, but they don't have variance within the filament itself (slightly hotter and slightly colder parts of the winding) that gives some light the quality that you're looking for in a 44/47. Additionally, there's just no way to make a filament like this in the side of a 44/47/555 bulb package.

    For everybody saying "they should have figured out a way to do this by now", well, they've gotten extremely close, but it's not going to fit in a 44/47/555.

    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I usually have some real 44s thrown in if the bulb is in your field of view.

    This is the proper way to do this job in my book. If you can see the bulb, even a little bit, it's gotta be a 44/47. Bulbs that are completely covered by a plastic, or lane guide you can use a WW LED of either 1SMD or Retro variety depending on their placement.

    Backbox needs to be LED'd with Retro or 1SMD bulbs non ghosting.

    2SMDs do not belong anywhere on an EM.

    I've yet to have strobing issues with LEDs in an EM and I'm not sure how sensitive I am to the effect, but the non-ghosting bulbs are a must have for me.

    #29 23 days ago

    One little trick I did with LEDs on an EM -- on my ‘75 Fast Draw I have all 44s but I changed the ten bonus light inserts to warm standard LEDs. The game has Gottlieb’s ‘rapid-fire’ bonus countdown where regular lamps barely have time to light up at all because the count goes so quick, always thought it looked duddy, virtually invisible. With instant LEDs the effect is tons better, you can actually SEE the countdown!

    I did need to add a resistor between those lamps’ common ground frame and it’s ground wire to eliminate visible flickers of the LEDs from parasitic wiring voltages when coils were firing off, which reduced their brightness just a bit but still look as bright as 44s/47s.

    1 week later
    #30 13 days ago

    Second swipe at it. I added incandescent yellow 44's into the mix. Its much better than Christmas in Hell?

    Little Joe LED 1 (resized).png
    #31 13 days ago

    I wouldn’t even put leds in my Robocop or Robowar let alone an EM. Not even close. Hopefully one day we will have an led that looks very close to an incandescent lamp.

    #32 13 days ago
    Quoted from TwinDavid:

    I added incandescent yellow 44's into the mix. Its much better than Christmas in Hell?

    Christmas in Lithuania?
    lithuania flag.gif

    #33 13 days ago
    Quoted from TwinDavid:

    Second swipe at it. I added incandescent yellow 44's into the mix. Its much better than Christmas in Hell?

    Expose your photo for the bulbs not the playfield art and then we can get a better look at how they look in combination with one another.

    #34 13 days ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    One little trick I did with LEDs on an EM -- on my ‘75 Fast Draw I have all 44s but I changed the ten bonus light inserts to warm standard LEDs. The game has Gottlieb’s ‘rapid-fire’ bonus countdown where regular lamps barely have time to light up at all because the count goes so quick, always thought it looked duddy, virtually invisible. With instant LEDs the effect is tons better, you can actually SEE the countdown!
    I did need to add a resistor between those lamps’ common ground frame and it’s ground wire to eliminate visible flickers of the LEDs from parasitic wiring voltages when coils were firing off, which reduced their brightness just a bit but still look as bright as 44s/47s.

    How are you sizing the resistor? I’d like to try and add this modification to my EMs where I get the flicker

    #35 12 days ago
    Quoted from radial_head:

    Expose your photo for the bulbs not the playfield art and then we can get a better look at how they look in combination with one another.

    Better?

    Little Joe LED 3.png (resized).jpg
    #36 8 days ago

    I wonder if you folded some waxed paper into the shape of a box and put it over the LED's if it wouldn't help defuse the light and make it appear warmer.

    #37 8 days ago

    Not my cup of tea, but if you like it, don't worry about what we think. Next owner can easily change the bulbs.

    #38 7 days ago

    I added warm LEDs to a Klondike this week. Had to. The incandescent had discolored a plastic piece of unobtanium I can’t afford to lose.

    Day one it was noticeable. Day three it is a lot less noticeable and I think the Comets are a pretty good option.

    #39 5 days ago
    Quoted from AndrewP:

    I added warm LEDs to a Klondike this week. Had to. The incandescent had discolored a plastic piece of unobtanium I can’t afford to lose.
    Day one it was noticeable. Day three it is a lot less noticeable and I think the Comets are a pretty good option.

    I was surprised to see you can still buy the plastics kit for the Klondike/Yukon at Marco Specialties. I was lucky that all the plastics on my machine were fine, otherwise I probably would have sent Marco my $125 plus shipping! I changed all the bulbs over to incandescent #47 lamps.

    I'm still on the fence with LEDs. I put some retro LEDs from Comet in my Gulfstream backglass but I'm not sure if I like them.

    #40 5 days ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    Not my cup of tea, but if you like it, don't worry about what we think. Next owner can easily change the bulbs.

    I'm not worried. I think LED's are awful for Em's. I'm trying to make them work. They don't. The latest was a mix of incandescent and LED's...still doesn't work.

    #41 5 days ago

    To each their own. Thanks to John_I and his suggestion for the frosted Sunlight LEDs from Comet, my Space Mission looks much better now to me.

    Granted I had a few 44 bulbs out before I changed them out.

    1FE3D363-DD19-4975-98A6-1CAFD2760DD2 (resized).jpeg360DA61A-A2B3-4B5B-8067-AE6E557B8512 (resized).jpeg
    #42 5 days ago

    Glad you posted the comparison, but this seals the deal that there’s no replacement for incandescents for me.

    #43 5 days ago
    Quoted from Gotemwill:

    Glad you posted the comparison, but this seals the deal that there’s no replacement for incandescents for me.

    Like I said to each his own but I’m definitely in the opposite camp, at least on this game. The Sunlight LEDs really bring out the blue and green on the Space Mission playfield.

    By comparison the blue and green looks dull with the incandescent lamps.

    I don’t know that they would look good on playfield with a lot of red or pink but I’m going to find out soon on my Aladdins Castle.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside